WASHINGTON — The $300 billion farm bill passed by Congress last week by enough votes to sustain a threatened veto from President Bush could ring the death knell for the Doha Round global trade talks aimed at lowering tariffs and subsidies among World Trade Organization members.
WTO trade diplomats have been trying to hammer out a global trade accord for more than six years but a stalemate between poor and rich countries over the level of cuts in agricultural subsidies has thwarted their efforts time and again. WTO director-general Pascal Lamy has warned that negotiators have only a matter of weeks to reach an agreement on the basic outlines of a trade accord if they are to meet the targeted goal of a final global pact by the end of the year.
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